Happy New Year!
As we head into the new year, Aladdin Travel is here to keep you up to date on all changes in the world of travel!
• Starting Jan. 1, 2015, Marriott International will officially adopt a stricter reservation cancellation policy. Once the policy takes effect, consumers will have until 11:59 p.m. local time the day before check-in in order to avoid paying a penalty charge
• Hilton Worldwide announced that it will offer guests access to their rooms via smartphone at select brands in late spring of 2015. Hilton already allows Hilton HHonors members to check in and choose a specific room using the HHonors app at five of its US brands. It is now expanding the program to all guests who have a smartphone.
• Several hotels are taking steps to meet demands for healthier food. Marriott has formed a partnership to launch a vending machine full of healthy options such as Greek yogurt-and-berry bowls. InterContinental Hotels Group's EVEN Hotels chain features the restaurant Cork & Kale, which offers healthy smoothies and dinner offering
• 2015 is the year of the new AAdvantage Program for the new American Airlines. "bringing the Dividend Miles® program into the AAdvantage® program, creating one of the largest airline loyalty programs in the world. With American Airlines, US Airways and our oneworld® alliance partners, you have access to nearly 1,000 destinations worldwide and your opportunities for earning and redeeming miles are endless."
• Effective March 1, 2015, United will only through-check baggage if the secondary ticket for travel is on the following carriers: United, United Express and Star Alliance partner airlines. If the traveler holds a second ticket on an airline different from those noted above, travelers must collect their baggage on arrival at their first ticketed destination, and then re-check baggage with the next carrier for their continuing flight(s).
• Southwest now stands alone as the last big US carrier that does not charge baggage fees. The other holdout, JetBlue, announced recently that it would include baggage fees in various fare bundles beginning in the first half of 2015
Fun Facts about Chicago's O'Hare Airport
O'Hare and Midway airports have yoga rooms for fliers needing to find their inner Zen before cramming into a crowded cabin.
There's a vertical aeroponic garden at O'Hare that the restaurants use to grow food, and it also helps provide a more calming environment.